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Packers, Niners Square Off in Primetime

When Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur started preparing to face San Francisco's stellar defense, he sent out a text message trying to get some inside information.

 

''Hey, would you give me a call? I have a couple of questions about your defense,'' LaFleur said he messaged 49ers coordinator Robert Saleh, his former roommate when the two were graduate assistants at Central Michigan.

 

Saleh predictably didn't give up any secrets, although there should be few heading into Sunday night's game between the Packers (8-2) and 49ers (9-1) considering all the ties between the two coaching staffs.

 

LaFleur considers Saleh one of his best friends, worked under San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan in Houston, Washington and Cleveland, and has a brother, Mike, on the Niners staff.

 

Shanahan spent a year as offensive coordinator when Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was head coach in Cleveland, but said none of that will matter on Sunday.

 

LaFleur got his first NFL job as a quality control assistant in Houston when Shanahan was offensive coordinator after a recommendation from Saleh. He then worked as quarterbacks coach under Shanahan in Washington and Atlanta and has taken many of the lessons he learned during those stints into his first year as a head coach.

 

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo showed off both sides of his game last week against Arizona. He threw two interceptions, giving him 10 on the season. But he also threw for a career-high 424 yards and four touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the final minute. The ups and downs have been part of Garoppolo's game all season, but he hasn't let the bad plays affect him. Garoppolo is 32 for 35 for 378 yards, two TDs, no interceptions and a 130.7 passer rating on the drives following his picks.

 

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has already seen enough of the Bosa family after the Chargers' Joey Bosa had 1 1/2 sacks against Green Bay earlier this month. Now he has to deal with the younger Bosa brother when he faces San Francisco's stellar rookie Nick, who has seven sacks already.

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